SAVANNAH—The Georgia Ports Authority marked its highest monthly numbers ever in March, handling 2.37 million tons of freight.
Some 85 percent of that total, or 2.03 million tons, was in containerized cargo. Containerized tonnage grew by 8.3 percent compared to March 2011, for an increase of 155,308 tons. The total tonnage number beats the previous record set in October 2010, while the previous container tonnage record was set in April of last year.
"Record volumes for Georgia’s deepwater ports are good news for our region and its economic future," said GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "We are cautiously optimistic about continued market recovery that will spur additional manufacturing and distribution opportunities."
For fiscal year 2012 through March, the GPA has handled 19.5 million tons of cargo, an increase of 280,035 tons over the same period in FY2011. Of that total, container traffic accounted for 16.5 million tons in 2.2 million 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), with an export-to-import ratio of 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent.
Total vessel calls across all terminals reached 203 in March, an increase of 20 over February’s 183 vessel calls.
In addition to its strong showing in containerized cargo tonnage, the GPA also noted continued growth in auto/machinery units. The March 2012 figure of 57,001 units constituted a 30-percent increase over the same month in 2011 (at 43,841 units), and a 79-percent increase over March 2010 (31,844). For the fiscal year to date, the Port of Brunswick has handled 388,192 units.
"The Port of Brunswick is the third-busiest U.S. port for auto imports, behind only Los Angeles and Newark," Foltz said. "Brunswick’s diverse carrier fleet, superior location and ample space provide the GPA’s automotive clients a vital link to Europe and other global markets."
The Port of Savannah was the second-busiest U.S. container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2011.